Historical town: must-see for Floridians
Saint Augustine is a city on the East coast of Florida four hours north of Fort Lauderdale. It is the oldest continuously inhabited city of the United States. The city is known for being the place where Ponce De Leon landed in August 1565. However, it was founded by Pedro Menendez de Aviles on Sept. 8, 1565.
I visited the city in mid-June for the first time and was in awe of how well preserved all the historical buildings were. The city is so full of history that it’s overwhelming. While it is a small city, it’s full of places and things to see and visit. I would recommend that anyone going to spend two to three full days at least to see everything. Piece of advice though, maybe not in the summer. It’s extremely hot and many of the places there will be open air.
In case you’re short of time, here are five places/activities that are a must:
The first thing I would highly recommend to do is take the Old Town trolley tour. It’s totally worth it. The tour lasts about hour and a half, it has 23 stops, and drives through the city showing all the special places, the drivers are very experienced and knowledgeable about the history of the town. The ticket will provide free parking at stops one and two and also entrance to the Old Jail tour, the Saint Augustine Museum and the Oldest Store Museum. And it lasts for three days.
The Old Jail building is a must see. There are two different options to visit the Jail. The first is the day tour. During this tour you’re shown the whole building, including the residential house, and also will learn the history. The other option is the Ghost and Gravestones tour that will grant you access to the Jail and even though you won’t see it all, there’s lots of fun to be had while learning part of its history. The Ghosts and Gravestones tour will also take you to the grounds of the Lighthouse in Anastasia Island.
The third place I recommend is the Potter’s Wax Museum. From the outside it might seem quite small, but once you’re inside you’ll see about 150 wax figures, from history to Hollywood. Cool fact: this is the oldest wax museum in America.
Another must see is the Lightner Museum. This place is beautiful, with its elegant garden and luxurious interiors. Even if you don’t have the time to enter to the Museum, which sadly I didn’t, you have to enter the building and enjoy the Garden.
And finally is the Castillo de San Marcos. This fort is located on the Matanzas Bay and its construction lasted 23 years, beginning in 1672. The fort is the oldest in the continental US, The view from the top is breathtaking. You can see over to Anastasia Island or into the city. It’s a beautiful place for photos.
Saint Augustine is the perfect destination for a long weekend getaway. I absolutely recommend it.